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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

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Responses ofQuercus sapwood to infection with the pathogenic fungus of a new wilt disease vectored by the ambrosia beetlePlatypus quercivorus


Quercus serrata andQ. crispula wilt during the summer in wide areas along the Sea of Japan. Mass attacks of trees by an ambrosia beetle (Platypus quercivorus) are characteristic before appearance of the wilting symptoms. This study investigated the pathogenic effects of a fungus detected specifically in the wilting trees. This hyphomycete fungus,Raffaelea sp., has a distribution that correlates with the discolored xylem area called wound heartwood in which vessels are dysfunctional. Tylosis formation around the hyphae indicates vessel dysfunction. In areas with discoloration, the fungal hyphae were invading living ray parenchyma cells from the vessel lumen. As a protective reaction the ray cells exuded yellow substances into the vessels, but these substances seemed ineffective against the fungal activity, probably because the fungus disperses along the beetle's gallery before enough substance can accumulate. It should allow wide discoloration in sapwood. Cambium was not necrotic around the fungus. The cytological process in the host was as follows: (1) synthesis of secondary metabolites by the stimuli of oak fungus; (2) exudation of yellow substances into vessels; and (3) dysfunction of vessels and wound heartwood formation. In regard to wilting of trees, the pathogenicity of the fungus should be assessed by its ability to stop sap flow.


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Correspondence to Keiko Kuroda.

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Kuroda, K. Responses ofQuercus sapwood to infection with the pathogenic fungus of a new wilt disease vectored by the ambrosia beetlePlatypus quercivorus . J Wood Sci 47, 425–429 (2001).

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Key words

  • Xylem discoloration
  • Wound heartwood
  • Vessel dysfunction
  • Hyphomycetes
  • Raffaelea